Running shoes, a weight, phone and earbuds on a gym floor with the letters HIIT to illustrate weight training after gastric sleeve

Weight Training After Gastric Sleeve

Let’s talk about weight training after gastric sleeve. Specifically, let’s discuss why we should focus on high-intensity workouts after weight-loss surgery.

One of the biggest trends in fitness these days is the so-called high-intensity workout. Some folks call it high-intensity interval training (HIIT). And while this may sound like something for professional athletes and gym junkies, the truth of the matter is that high-intensity workouts can help even fitness newbies achieve better results in less time.

What A High-Intensity Workout Is — And Isn’t

While the name might sound a bit intimidating, a HIIT workout is simply a series of exercises that are done at a pace that’s quick enough to really challenge your cardiovascular system. This means doing quick bursts of intense movements that cause your heart rate to rise, then taking short breaks (known as recovery periods).

By doing exercises that cause your heart rate to elevate, you’ll burn lots of calories while helping to improve your heart health in a relatively short amount of time. The recovery periods give your body a chance to recoup oxygen in preparation for the next challenge.

It’s this fast pattern of rest and exertion that leads to more efficient fat burning, even long after you’ve left the gym. Experts estimate that the metabolic rates of people who do HIIT-style workouts stay elevated for anywhere from 12 hours to 36 hours afterward. That means your body will burn more calories than it normally does — even when you’re at rest.

A high-intensity workout isn’t about pushing yourself to the point of exhaustion or exercising for hours on end. During a HIIT workout, you’ll typically alternate between one minute to two minutes of maximum effort and about 30 seconds to 60 seconds of recovery, such as walking slowly.

This is normally repeated for anywhere from 10 minutes to 30 minutes, depending on your current health and fitness goals.

Examples of High-Intensity Workouts

Here are some examples of high-intensity workouts. Be sure to speak with your doctor before beginning any exercise regimen.

March on the spot for 30 seconds
Do 10 body-weight squats
March on the spot again for 30 seconds
Perform walking lunges for 1 minute
Take a 30-second recovery break by walking slowly

You can integrate virtually any type of exercise into a HIIT workout: lifting weights and other forms of strength training, resistance training, using treadmills or elliptical trainers.

Even simply walking around the block by alternating quick bursts of speed with regular rest periods is beneficial.

Just be sure to start slow with your diet and exercise regimen. You don’t want to compromise good form for speed; otherwise, you could wind up injuring yourself. This leads to reduced physical activity and being sidelined multiple days a week, making it tougher to lose weight, build muscle mass, and generally reach your fitness and weight loss goals.

Monitoring Yourself

One more thing: Make sure to monitor your heart rate during exercise after bariatric surgery, no matter which weight-loss surgery you underwent (gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, etc.). Ask your bariatric surgeon if you have any questions.

It’s important to remember to monitor your heart rate throughout your exercise program to make sure you’re not over-exerting yourself. A wearable, chest strap-style heart rate monitor can come in handy for this.

If your heart rate is too low you won’t achieve the fat-burning benefits, while getting your heart rate too high can cause dangerous levels of lactic acid in your body.

As we said above, start by consulting with your doctor to be sure it’s safe for you to work out. Next, calculate your target heart rate using an online heart rate calculator tool to see what your rate should be during your HIIT workout.

By learning how to do a high-intensity workout, you can amp up your metabolic rate while improving your overall health and wellness.

To learn more about why exercising before and after weight loss surgery is key to your long-term success, contact us here at Olde Del Mar Surgical.

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